April 2013 Banned & Restricted Update – Regrowth Unrestricted in Vintage, Second Sunrise Banned in Modern

Banned Restricted Update April 2013

The DCI has announced their quarterly updates to the Banned and Restricted lists today, and Regrowth has been Unrestricted in Vintage, and Second Sunrise has been Banned in Modern! There are no changes in any other format.

Regrowth is Unrestricted.

Second Sunrise is Banned.

Standard, Extended, Legacy, Block Constructed
No changes.

The news of Second Sunrise being Banned in Modern seems like the biggest news here. In Erik Lauer’s words, it was mainly due to tournament time restraint considerations, ala the Banning of Shahrazad in Vintage a while ago.

Modern tournaments have recently been diverse, with no dominant deck. However, large tournaments have had a problem with the Eggs deck, causing rounds to take significantly longer.

In a large tournament, such as a Grand Prix, when time for the round expires, players are given five additional turns to complete their game. Usually, this takes a few minutes to conclude the rest of the games. However, a player playing Eggs might have a fifteen-minute turn during the additional turns, delaying the start of the next round by ten minutes or more (beyond the next-longest match). Over the course of a day, this can mean an extra hour of waiting for everyone else in the tournament.

The DCI considered which card to ban to deal with this issue. We decided to try and do the narrowest possible ban: one that would reduce the chance of such long turns without banning a card used in other decks. That is why Second Sunrise is banned in Modern.

This is undoubtedly disappointing for the few combo players left in Modern, as yet another combo deck is stricken from the ranks. It now appears to be Scapeshift, Griselbrand, Pod, Twin, or bust for combo in Modern.

In Vintage, the Unrestriction of Regrowth is viewed as slightly risky by some, and long overdue by others. While the potential for creating a more formidable Gush engine exists now after the restrictions of Ponder, Brainstorm, and Merchant Scroll put a serious dent in the classic Gush engine, it still has to compete with Mishra’s Workshop-driven prison decks, making everything cost much more, and punishing players for bouncing their own lands with Gush. There also exists the ability to replay things like Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, but Snapcaster Mage has already been doing a fine impersonation for quite a while with little to no negative implications for the format. The DCI’s Erik Lauer cited as much in the DCI news release.

Regrowth was restricted in 1994. Since then, alternatives such as Yawgmoth’s Will and Snapcaster Mage have been printed, and Regrowth has seen little play. It is not clear what new decks are feasible with Regrowth unrestricted, but the DCI’s best judgment is that, after nineteen years, it is time to find out.

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